'मां', 'মা', 'आई', 'માતા', 'अम्मी'...How amazing it is
Bohag Bihu also known as Rongali Bihu (ব’হাগ বিহু বা ৰঙালী বিহু) is the most popular Bihu that celebrates the onset of the Assamese New Year (around 14–15 April) and the coming of Spring. This marks the first day of the Hindu solar calendar and is also observed in Bengal, Manipur, Mithila, Nepal, Orissa, Punjab, Kerala and Tamil Nadu though called by different names and celebrated by different traditions and customs .
Perhaps Rongali Bihu has something to do with the change in weather. We put aside our warm clothes and blankets and enjoy the warm breeze of spring and don lighter clothes. The flowers of Spring like the rest of us,burst into blossom,bringing their vibrant shade to the mild air. Truly,this is a festival of joy, of love,of laughter,of songs,of dances,of foods, and various customs. The word "Ronagli" has been derived from the word "RONG" (ৰং) meaning happiness and celebrations.Parallels of Bihu among the other races and tribes of Assam are Baisagu for Bodo Kacharis, Baikhu for Rabhas, Ali- Ai -Ligang for Misings, Bohhaggio Bishu for Deoris.
The Rongali Bihu is celebrated for around a month with different festivities going on throughout the Bohag month. The people celebrate this festival with merriment and joy. Delicacies like pitha, laru, jolpan (traditional food made predominantly with rice) are prepared by the womenfolk. Rongali Bihu is a time of merriment and feasting and continues, in general, for seven days.
On the eve of the new year, i.e a day before the new year, 'Goru Bihu'(গৰু বিহু) is celebrated. On this day, the cattle are smeared with turmeric and black gram paste, bathed in rivers and ponds and are the let to stray. The cattle are washed, smeared with ground turmeric and other pastes, struck with sprigs of dighalati and makhiyati and endeared to be healthy and productive.
A hearty meal of gourd and brinjal is fed to the cows, while singing the Assamese traditional song "lao kha, bengena kha, bosore bosore barhi ja, maar xoru, baper xoru, toi holi bor goru " which means "eat gourd, eat brinjal, grow from year to year, your mother is small, your father is small, but you be a large one".
লাও খা বেঙেনা খা বছৰে বছৰে বাঢ়ি যা / মাৰ সৰু বাপেৰ সৰু তই হবি বৰ গৰু।
In the evening when the cows return home, the old cattle bindings are cast away and new ropes are used. They are worshiped and well fed on that day. The Goru Bihu or cattle worship rites are observed on the last day of the year. The rationale behind the worshiping of cows is very simple. They are the greatest assets of a farmer because not only do they produce milk but also help plough fields, transport men, crop and so on.
The second day of Bohag bihu is observed as Manuh bihu. This day is significant as the first day of the month of Bohag .People across the state welcomes the first day of the new year with bihu songs and dance. In the occasion of Manuh Bihu, people clean their homes and have a traditional bath using pastes of turmeric and black gram early in the morning having its own benefits .They wear traditional clothes and visit their relatives and seek blessings from the elders. Gifts are exchanged during this occasion and almost every family offers the elders a Bihuwan or the Gamusa cloth as a symbol of respect. Other items that are gifted includes dhoti, Chelang, Riha and Mekhela. Many families write Sanskrit mantras on Nahar leaves and hide it behind the roof. This ritual bears a symbolic significance and is done with the intention of seeking Lord Shiva’s protection from all elements of nature.
The Gamosa is an article of great significance for the people of Assam.The word Gamosa is derived from the Kamrupi word gamsaw, the cloth used to cover the Bhagavad Purana at the altar. It is also used by the farmer as a waist cloth (tongali) or a loincloth (suriya); a Bihu dancer also wraps it around the head with a fluffy knot.It is also hung around the neck at the prayer hall (naamghar) and was thrown over the shoulder in the past to signify social status. Guests are welcomed with the offering of a gamusa and tamul (betel nut) and elders are offered gamusas (referred to as bihuwaan in this case) during Bihu. Gamosa is also offered to the loved ones.One can therefore, very well say, that the gamusa symbolizes the indigenous life and culture of Assam
On the occasion of Gosain Bihu, the Gods are worshiped and traditional songs are sung in their praise seeking protection and blessing for a good harvest and health of the village community.
Tatxal is the most adorable asset of every Assamese household. To provide a special space in people’s life the fourth day of Bihu is celebrated as Tator Bihu.
Nangol is the chief tool among the others for agriculture. The fifth day of Bihu is called Nangolor Bihu.
JIYORI BIHU OR SENEHI BIHU
On the sixth day, the daughters come to their parents’ house to celebrate Bihu. That’s why its called Jiyori bihu. Again Senehi Bihu is day that is reserved exclusively for lovers. The day symbolizes love. On this day youths meet their beloved and give them gifts usually known as “Bihuwan” and thus its also called Senehi Bihu.
The formal part of Bohag Bihu is concluded on the seventh day and this day is known as Xat bihu. I don't really know much information about the concluding day since it has more significance in the rural parts of Assam.
It is quite evident that Bihu is a festival of farming community whose livelihood is mainly dependent upon the agriculture. The festival of bihu is celebrated by one and all in Assam. The boundaries of rich or poor, cast ,creed etc are diminished in the dazzling light of joy and merriment. Today's Young Assamese generation should never forget the rich culture which they have and should try to preserve their traditions followed by various customs and beliefs.
With this I am concluding my post and wishing everyone out here reading this content a Very Happy Rongali Bihu :)